Impressive research by NTU women is covered in the media

Impressive research by NTU women is covered in the media

 August 08, 2023

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Nottingham Trent University (NTU) women researchers are often featured in the media for their impressive and impactful work. 

School of Science & Technology, Senior Lecturer Dr. Livia Rocha Dos Santos, has shared her knowledge in an article for The Independent, revealing how muscle cells become impaired as we get older, impacting their ability to regenerate and recover after an injury.

Analysing the genes inside muscle cells

A team at Nottingham Trent University analysed the genes inside muscle cells, and found the ‘development pathways’ – the different ways in which genes work together to regenerate muscle – become weakened in older cells.

Dr. Livia Santos said: “This goes some way towards explaining why muscle injuries may take longer to recover as we get older.”

Ageing impairs that regeneration potential

“We know that healthy muscle regenerates after we’ve had an injury, but ageing impairs that regeneration potential and recovery gets harder the older we get. What we’ve observed, in terms of what happens inside the cells, helps us to better understand why we don’t heal as well or as quickly in older age. The pathways that control cell processes and development work differently in older cells and are downregulated, meaning regeneration is impacted the older we get. If we can understand these pathways, however, we could potentially identify new therapies and interventions to mitigate the problem,” she explained.

Read the full article

An experienced and revered professional 

Dr. Livia Santos joined NTU in 2016 as Independent Research Fellow and was promoted to Senior Independent Research Fellow in early 2019. In 2021, she was appointed as Senior Lecturer.

Prior to her current position, Dr. Livia Santos conducted research at the 3Bs Research Group, University of Minho & European Headquarters for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Portugal (2014-2006) and the Stevens Group, Imperial College London (2012-2014).

She joined Imperial College London after receiving a highly prestigious Intra-European Marie Curie Fellowship (Marie Curie actions FP7) to investigate bone angiogenesis. In this period she also characterised the genetic cargo of microvesicles shed by bone cells using miRNA PCR arrays.

While an active member, the Stevens group received the prizes Research Group of the Year 2014 and Best European Research Group Led by PI Under 40s. Before this position, Dr Santos received a Post-Doctoral Fellowship by the FCT (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) to conduct research at Biosckin - Molecular and Cellular Therapies SA & Faculty of Engineering of Porto (2008-20012). In this period, she developed and tested an injectable bone substitute to fill critical size bone defects and invented an artificial cornea fringe made of reinforced calcium phosphate aiming to restore vision in patients with corneal blindness.

Dr. Livia Santos obtained a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2008 from the University of Minho, Portugal. She was supervised by Joana Azeredo, Associate Professor of the MIT-Portugal Program.

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